Small dog escapes alligator’s jaws in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - A small dog escaped the jaws of an alligator in Boca Raton on Easter Sunday, and its owner is calling it a miracle.

Anthony Monti called it the worst day of his life when an alligator sunk its teeth into his dog Lilly.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “Having a pet is just like having a child, and seeing your child suffer, it breaks your heart.”

Lilly, a 6-year-old Yorkie Terrier, is fighting for her life after the frightening incident.

“She got up by the alligator in the grass somewhere, and it started dragging her into the lake,” Monti said. “Somehow, she got away. It got her again, and that’s how she got the bad wounds in the back.”

The veterinarians who saved her life were stunned to even see her standing.

“When she got here, her whole body was exposed, and her insides were coming out, so she knows she was saved,” said one veterinarian.

The incredible escape is one of many recent alligator incidents.

A family in Parkland received a shocking call from their neighbors when a huge alligator made its way onto their front parch. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission came and removed the unwanted guest, but it wouldn’t leave without putting up a fight.

A couple weeks ago, in Southwest Miami-Dade, an aggressive 9-foot alligator had to be wrangled and roped.

Experts said this alligator activity is normal for the springtime.

“Males are becoming a little more aggressive and territorial,” said Gator Jon, from Sawgrass Recreation Park, “chasing out younger, smaller males out of the way, so that when a female comes by, they can start the courting process.”

And all the smaller males pushed out of ponds during mating season need a place to live.

“It forces them to venture off, look for other areas to create their home,” Gator Jon said, “and this is when they start moving into people’s properties, jumping into people’s pools, getting too close to where people are, ’cause they just have nowhere else to go.”

Monti hopes Lilly’s survival story can serve as a reminder for those who live near water.

“I had the Wildlife Commission come here this morning to file and showed the wounds, and he doesn’t understand how she survived the attack and how she got away,” Monti said. “We’re calling her our little Easter miracle baby.”

Alligator mating season begins in April and lasts until August. Officials urge residents to use caution near water for the next few months.

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